19 July 2014


I grew up in a messy house, at least my memory of my teenage years is such.  My parents have had a empty nest for around eighteen years and moved into a brand new house recently and still their house is far from tidy so I feel I am safe to assume that my childhood home was messy.  I am not a fan of constant mess and clutter.

We used to spend time, every week, at a friends house which was untidy, no I am going to be honest, it was more than untidy it was cluttered, messy and dirty.  That is of course my opinion I would never judge anyone on the state of their house if I had I wouldn't have stayed friends or visited the house so often.  There were times, particularly in the winter when it was too cold to sit outside that I wondered what on earth I was doing there it was with mixed emotions that we stopped visiting a few months ago.  I felt relieved and slightly guilty.

In my own house everything has to have a home, a place it could be put away.  There is a finite amount of places that things can be put away in our house so usually, around birthdays and Christmas time we have to give something away when we receive something.  I was discussing this with some friends recently and the FlyLady came into the conversation, perhaps my friend and my parents need to heed her advice.

I have perfected worked hard at the art of decluttering my house but other parts of my life, well they are messy, not in a my life is a mess sense, but more in a disorganised, flitting from one thing to another sense.  I am easily sidetracked and very fond of displacement activities when I need to do something that I would rather not be doing.  I have come to realise I am hopeless at planning ahead and saying no, so I end up with too many things in the diary and not enough time to prepare for each of them, for different reasons I was in the exact same position last year.  Hmm perhaps I could do with learning from my experience.

Everything we do outside the house involves some form of preparation be it a few bits and pieces of clothing, a picnic or a fully packed car.  When I am planning what we will do I forget about this bit.  Over the winter we tend to do less outside or that involves lots of packing, but that doesn't mean we spend the whole time at home!  But come the spring and warmer weather and suddenly we are like caged animals and I go mad putting so many things in the diary that I forget the bit about preparation.   So in a need to do better kind of effort I have once again reached that time of the year when I feel like I am going mad and have backed off organising much for the rest of the summer to keep myself sane.  What I could with doing is remembering that in the Spring, keep the bigger picture in mind, and to remind myself constantly it is ok to say no.  I am not sure how I am going to remember this so if you have tips you can share.........


  1. I think we are all different and find our own ways to take some sort of control over our lives. I am a tidier ( is that a word?) and my cupboards are usually neat and sorted but I do battle with Flat Surface Syndrome as both Mr M and I put things down on tables and work surfaces and I am constantly trying to at least gather up books, papers and odds and ends into tidy piles. I used to have a friend who had an immaculate house - the sort where the pot plant in the hall is the same colour as the wall paper - and always felt somewhat inferior there till one day she opened a kitchen cupboard and inside was a total mess! I too used to, and still do to a lesser extent, take on too many things and a tip I read about which helped was to say "Can I get back to you on that when I ave checked my diary?" when asked to do this or that so that instead of just saying Yes I had time to think whether or not I wanted to do whatever it was and if not of the est way to say No!

    1. Flat Surface Syndrome I like that description.

      I like your tip of getting back to people, that would give me a chance to think about it which is what I need to do. Thank you :)

    2. I have to admit that the term was one I read on somebody's blog ages ago but I can't remember whose it was so I can't actually claim the credit for inventing the name but it does describe exactly what we suffer from here!

    3. This is definitely a good idea!

      I have dropped out things that were planned over the summer, due to unexpected visitors from Spain and the making of a wedding dress! Since I am now also "working" I have organised Summer activities for the kids and I know to some extent they will benefit from some sense of routine, something we normally struggle with!

      I don't like over crowded schedules and can feel quite "suffocated" if there is no breathing room. I do think it is OK to give back word on a previously planned idea, especially if enough warning is given and that you have a genuine reason for doing so.

      My biggest clutter problem is paperwork! I do try to deal with mail as soon as it comes through the front door and recycling unwanted junk mail. It doesn't take much to trip me up though and lately I have been drowning in the stuff!!

      Fly lady is fab!

  2. I get a weird headache thing when my house is a mess, the only way to get rid of it is to clean. It's so strange! As for the saying no thing, I'm a bit like you. I feel like I have to have a good excuse to say no to something too, I can't just say no and I know I shouldn't have to feel like that.

  3. Nothing quite like decluttering. It gives me a huge feeling of peace and space. I try to do it regularly, but don't do it as regularly as I like. It's actually one of the things I'm looking forward to doing this summer.

  4. Flat surface syndrome - is that what it's called? thank you 'marigold jam' - now I can tell my husband that he has it (and that he needs to be cured).
    I'm not a very organized person as a rule but I do try to be so I'd also like to hear any tips about preparing (and putting away afterwards) outings and activities!! unfortunately I have none to share.

  5. I think one of the key things here is to strike a balance. I was very organised and tidy before I had children and it gradually became more difficult to have everything looking perfect. I realised it was more important to have a life, do things, go places, play, make a mess even. I know that these are precious years and I have plenty of years after they leave home to be tidied and organised once more!

  6. I need to have a storage place for everything as well (I typed "everyone" then by mistake... interesting). I really don't like living with mess, so I completely understand what you say about not wanting to spend time in a house like that. I always try and clear some space before Christmas, especially on the bookshelves.

  7. Oh, I relate to this on so many levels... I do like order around me and struggle to relax in a untidy house. My other half leaves things lying about (keys, wallet, glasses, paperwork) and it offends the eye so much - I have to tidy it away.
    Strange as my older brother is a hoarder. I don't use the term loosely; his house is at the point where you can hardly get through the front door and there are decades worth of books and junk blocking access to the upstairs rooms. He knows he needs professional help but won't seek it.
    I think everyone has issues and they manifest themselves in different ways.
    Anyway, I too start way too many things and feel dissatisfied that so few get finished. It's mentally tiring to have an overwhelming to-do list. My big goal for this year (and always): learn to say no without feeling the need to explain yourself.
    Good luck with simplifying your life and your summer.
    S x

  8. I find the house tends to be a reflection of my mental state. When I'm feeling happy and positive the house stays fairly clean and tidy. When I'm feeling down the house gets worse and worse which then makes me feel more down. I'm never sure if it's my moods or the state of the house which comes first!

  9. I don't like mess and clutter either. I quite like clearing up the mess at the end of the day and restoring calm and order to chaotic space - very satisfying. That said, I know lots of people who have cluttered, untidy houses and I actually find their homes very cosy and 'homey' whereas I often wonder whether mine is a little sterile - but I still couldn't live with clutter! :)


Hello......would love to hear from you :)